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Learning Journeys, Profiles, What's The Difference?


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Hi, Sorry I have lots more questions on this.

 

I can see that a learning journey would go home with the child and be completed by the parent as well, but surely if practitioners also have to fill this in, as well as the profile, they are effectively duplicating the job that they do? Our staff find it hard to get time to do the profiles, let alone something else.

 

We haven't tried out learning journeys on our parents yet, too many other changes going on, too much paperwork for staff to do already. Are we going to get slated for this? Are we missing something vital?

 

Is there any reason why profiles could not do both these jobs? I appreciate that some parents might 'lose' them if they were allowed to take them away from the setting, but couldn't we ask instead that they spend a few minutes in the morning writing some comments in the profile? What use does the profile have beyond a cute memento for parents when the child leaves the setting? Why doesn't it go on instead to the Reception teacher as a way of seeing what the children can do when they start at school?

 

Does anyone else feel that there is too much paperwork with the EYFS, especially for part time voluntary run settings? I can see that you guys want to be seen as professionals, but given that you're typically not paid a wage in line with other professions, the amount of paperwork you have to do is frankly astonishing.

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a learning journey - is what it says - a book from when the children start nursery to the end - filled with photos, observations and anything else ......

 

the profile if you are talking the EYFSP is a booklet for practitioners which monitors and assesses the children's progress with a set of 13 assessment scales under the 6 areas of learning, which you would use for the last year of foundation stage.

 

when we filled in the profiles if there was any evidence i wanted to use from the learning journeys i just photcopied it and stuck it in - then there was no duplication :o

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Thanks Hali, I think that makes sense, but how do you get staff to view the profile as a working document rather than something to be filled in at the end of each term!

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MMMm I think you're getting in a muddle SuzieC8! :o

 

The EYFS profile, as Hali says, should only be completed at the end of the reception year, ie by reception class teachers, and not used as a working document for pre-school settings.

 

When you talk about profiles, do you have a different sort of summative document in mind?

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Oooh, didn't answer any of your questions....sorry!

 

We haven't tried out learning journeys on our parents yet, too many other changes going on, too much paperwork for staff to do already. Are we going to get slated for this? Are we missing something vital?

 

You must have some sort of record of the child's time at your setting. The most popular and efficient way of recording their activities and experience is through the learning journal/learning journey. This would have photos, pictures, observations,etc stuck in, as you go along (ie your idea of a working document).

 

 

Is there any reason why profiles could not do both these jobs? I appreciate that some parents might 'lose' them if they were allowed to take them away from the setting, but couldn't we ask instead that they spend a few minutes in the morning writing some comments in the profile? What use does the profile have beyond a cute memento for parents when the child leaves the setting? Why doesn't it go on instead to the Reception teacher as a way of seeing what the children can do when they start at school?

 

 

I think they should do both jobs (but not the EYFS profile....a different sort of summative system that fits well with your setting's structure). The parents should be encouraged to contribute to the LJ, but not on a daily basis. So, they wouldn't be disappearing out of your setting and regularly getting lost. Of course, they could add to them in the setting, but I think it's valuable for the child to share the book with other family members, eg Grandma! I think it has far more value that just a cute reminder of their time in nursery, especially if the comments/observations are sufficiently detailed. They can clearly show the child's progression right through the EYFS. It's the quality of the observations that is key here! The reason they don't usually go onto school is simply because there is SO much information in each one, the poor teacher would not be able to read 30, ready for his/her new intake. A summative document is much more practical for the setting to complete when the child leaves for school.

 

I appreciate your view that practitioners are paid poorly in general and that we need to find a workable system that is not too onerous but does what it says on the tin! Keeping one main record for each child, is, I believe, the only way to do it, and the only way it worked in my setting :o

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The staff are using a large blue A4 book in which they stick labels of observations, photos, comments, quotes of what the child has said, also there is a set of the EYFS goals in the front, and they highlight these as they are done. This is what we call a profile.

 

Is this not correct? Should they be doing a learning journey instead? Gosh they would thank me mightily if that is correct!

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Thanks for your detailed response, Helen, I posted before I had seen it.

 

I'm starting to think that maybe somewhere along the line our staff have started doing what is effectively the EYFS profile that should be done in Reception, rather than a simpler 'learning journey' type document which could go back and forth between the setting and the home. Perhaps some wires have got crossed and they have taken this job on with out actually needing to do it in the hugely detailed way they are.

 

I think I should have a chat with our EYA and see if we're making more work for ourselves than we need to.

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Hi Suzie - I'm a bit confused........hey what's new! xD

 

Would it help if I tell you how our Learning Journey folders are made?

 

So.........large ringbinder.....

 

My Unique Child - entry record - completed by parents and key person prior to child's start date (I pinched Cait's document for this)

 

Initial plan - covers 6 areas of learning and informed by the entry record

 

List of EYFS Development Matters - we do not do anything with this - it is just for parents info.

 

Annotated photos, observations

 

Every term Summative assessments and Individual Plans are made by the child's Key Person - sent home with a request for parents to add their comments (most do thankfully) - these are then added to the folder.....

 

Folders always available for parents to see at our setting and are sent home once per term.....

 

We do have another Progress tracker chart thingummy but parents don't get to see this - it is for internal use only and helps us to show that we are tracking progress and that indeed each child is making progress....

 

My understanding is that the EYFS should not be used in any sort of 'tick box' way.....

 

Hope that makes sense and maybe helps in some way! :o

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The staff are using a large blue A4 book in which they stick labels of observations, photos, comments, quotes of what the child has said, also there is a set of the EYFS goals in the front, and they highlight these as they are done. This is what we call a profile.

 

Is this not correct? Should they be doing a learning journey instead? Gosh they would thank me mightily if that is correct!

 

Well that sounds like a learning journey to me! However, the Early Learning Goals are expectations for children at the end of reception, so should not be used as a direct aim in pre-school settings. There is a lot more that goes on before they get there, and that's what the development matters statements are all about. Many settings now are highlighting those statements (but not as a ticksheet!) when they believe a child "best fits" with that age-band. These are often called Progress Trackers. Is that what you're doing Sunnyday?

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Thanks Sunny that's really helpful as usual. I really like the idea of sending them home once a term and doing a kind of separate report. We don't have the end of stage goals in them, but the lists of statements for different ages from the EYFS, which are highlighted as they reach that stage.

 

I think the main difference is that we are not currently sharing these with parents except at the consultation meetings. Just had a long chat with my leader and we are going to find a way to do this more frequently. She said she had been advised not to let parents take them off the premises - is that correct or just one of those myths? She's also worried about parents not returning them - do people find this happens? I was thinking maybe a separate home/preschool contact sheet as part of the booklet, this could go home and then back into the folder when completed?

 

What would we do without this forum! :o

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We have the "My Unique Child" pages, as Sunnyday said, followed by "My Keyperson's Pages" followed by "My Special Book" all in a ringbinder. At the very end , as a child leaves, we add the 'Stepping Stones' each with a mini observation annotated alongside. (If there's no observation for a stepping stone then that one is chopped out, so parents don't come back and say something like "My child can do that - why have you not got anything for that!?") These pages go in with the Keyperson pages, alongside the observations and other items from the keyperson . The pages that form 'My Special Book' comprise photos, comments from the child, things that they've done, Wow slips that have been on the wall etc

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HI Suzie. We work much like Sunnyday I suppose. Parents are asked to look at the Learning Journey folders as often as we think necessary, but we always ask them to look at any long observations we have done, i.e. 10 min obs, where we have a space on the form for their input and signature. Parents contribute to the Learning Journeys with photos of family, friends and outings etc. from home.

 

We were told to consider this information as the property of the parent and child and that we were just custodians of it for the time the child was with us, so there should be absolutely no reason why they should not go home with the family. Obviously we do get a little possessive about them given how long they take to do and how much info is contained in them, but if a family loses their folder, well they are the ones who really lose out in the end.

 

The original idea in my area was that they Learning Journey was to become part of the Record of Transfer and that parents would hand it over to the next setting, but it is up to them to do it and if they decide not to again that is their decision.

 

We have only ever lost one Learning Journey and I am ashamed to say that was me. Last year. We searched high and low for it but never found it. During the summer break I did my best to replicate what was in the folder, but all the observation evidence apart from a couple of items was lost.

 

I pay my staff an extra hour per week to keep their Learning Journeys up to date. They conduct consultations once per term, they are available to discuss progress at the beginning of every session, we allow the Learning Journeys to go home and once per term we do a summative assessment taking up to 3 areas to highlight where a child has made a significant progression and give a hand written few words about how the child is welfare wise too.

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We were told to consider this information as the property of the parent and child and that we were just custodians of it for the time the child was with us, so there should be absolutely no reason why they should not go home with the family. Obviously we do get a little possessive about them given how long they take to do and how much info is contained in them, but if a family loses their folder, well they are the ones who really lose out in the end.

 

That's my understanding too! :o

 

We do sometimes have to give a few reminders before we get them back........but that's the minority.........most parents are really appreciative and we receive some fab. written comments - I always transfer these to one document i.e. 'Comments received from parents November '09 (or whatever) and use this document for Ofsted! xD

 

I am extremely lucky that my staff take such pride in compiling the Learning Journey folders and do a great job! :(

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Suzie we have been doing LJ's for years, just called them by a different name and slightly different format. We have over the years used various means to 'hold' the info such as ringbinders (too expensive) scrapbooks (filled up too quick) bound books (again too expensive)

We now have loose A4 sheets (bound with a plastic spine)that contain all obs big or small, focused or 'catch as you can', photos (100's of these. more photos less writing for staff) assessments, planning, WOW vouchers that have been completed and work done by the child. Often a child wants to take the work home or it's too big so we photo the work or the child holding it. Each book has a cover, explanation letter & parents comment sheets as well. We used to copy these (when they weren't quite so full) & send onto school but it was so much work and quite frankly as Helen says there is no way the teacher has the time to go through 30 odd of these. So we now hand over to the parent and do a 'Transition document for the next setting (with a copy for the parent) We would normally do these in conjunction with the parent and basically they are a list of next steps for learning within the 6 areas of learning- with a short obs/comment on each area.

Parents are 'officially' given the LJ's once a term or more, and invited to contribute to them, but we are constantly telling parents they are available. Never had one lost and that's in 10 years or so of doing these or similar. They are now huge documents and for some that are with us for 2 years before school end up as 2 books but I would have loved to have had a record of my children’s time at preschool like this and I do feel that some of the feedback we get back from parents on them makes it worthwhile. They are a great way of showing the Childs progression through the EYFS Yes putting it all together can be an issue but I try to give staff one week per half term where they get 30 mins per day and they usually have 10 mins or so before we open each morning to sort stuff like this, if they choose not to use this time (and some would rather do other things) then that really is up to them

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